Yes you can sign on to the store on a local account, but you still need a MS account to get the extensions, not sure if you can get them while on a local account.
We know what the future is, certainly in operating systems like Windows, Microsoft have already showed us how they want to do things with Windows 10. they want us to be connected to their services every time we turn on our computer or tablet. Look at the way Ms is pushing their cloud system, the way they are sending data back from Windows 10, which is why I will not install windows 10.
You say you do not find cloud based accounts threatening, well maybe you should, it is all about getting to know more about us, selling more and more of our data and taking more of our privacy away.
Desktop machine now powered by windows 8.1 pro 64bit, no dreaded metro, laptop by Linux